Masters drama unfolds on back nine — on Saturday


USA TODAY Sports’ Steve DiMeglio explains how Jordan Spieth climbed back up the leaderboard on Day 3 and why Day 4 of the 2017 Masters is shaping up to be an Augusta classic.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — It’s time to update the old adage about the Masters not starting until the back nine Sunday.

The dramatics got underway a day early this year.

Justin Rose rocketed up the leaderboard and Charley Hoffman tumbled down it as the back nine shook up the Masters like a snow globe Saturday. When the tremors were over, six players were within four shots of co-leaders Rose and Sergio Garcia. And three of ‘em already have green jackets.

In other words, buckle up. Right from the start Sunday.

“For the last couple of days, we were just waiting for that day,” Rose said. “The course was in magnificent shape, and it was there for the taking in the sense that, if you played great golf, you were rewarded. But it still had enough teeth that if you weren’t on your game it was going to get you.”


The rain earlier in the week…

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